Pathfinder Tales (initially announced as Pathfinder Fiction) is the comprehensive brand name for all official fiction set in the Pathfinder campaign setting. Since 2011, Pathfinder Tales adventures are released in three formats: novels, web fiction, and the Pathfinder's Journal series of serialized novellas in the pages of Pathfinder Adventure Path.
Pathfinder Tales novels debuted at Gen Con 2010 with the release of Dave Gross's Prince of Wolves. Paizo Inc. published about four mass-market paperback novels in the Pathfinder Tales line each calendar year under from 2010 to June 2015, both traditionally bound and in digital formats.
In February 2015, Paizo licensed the Pathfinder Tales novels line to Tor Books for bi-monthly releases, starting with the June 2015 novel Lord of Runes. The licensing deal includes moving to a larger trade paperback format and expanding eBook distribution. Paizo retains editorial direction under managing editor James L. Sutter.1
As with most Pathfinder product lines, Pathfinder Tales novels are available as a subscription, ensuring fans receive the newest release automatically in both physical and digital formats.
- See also: Category:Web fiction
From June 2010 to July 2015, Paizo's talented authors presented weekly short multi-part adventures featuring the exploits of daring denizens of the Pathfinder campaign setting as Pathfinder Tales web fiction. These free adventures gave a taste of the thrills to come in Pathfinder Tales novels and often featured some of the same characters from the same cast of superstar authors and game creators.
Just as he launched the novels line, Dave Gross holds the honor of penning the first story to be featured in Pathfinder Tales web fiction, "The Lost Pathfinder", which went live on June 2, 2010.
In October 2010, Pathfinder Tales web fiction short stories were compiled as electronic books and made available on both paizo.com and the Apple iBookstore for a modest price.
Paizo announced they would stop publishing free short web fiction on July 22, 2015. Excerpts and sample chapters from Pathfinder Tales novels would continue to run prior to releases, the short fiction will remain available on the Paizo blog's archives, and Paizo will continue to compile the already published short fiction into ePub releases.3
Beginning on March 7, 2019, Paizo began posting a series of short stories by James L. Sutter called Iconic Encounters, short vignettes of the Pathfinder Second Edition iconic characters exemplifying the sorts of stories one can tell with the new edition.4 This was followed by Tales of Lost Omens, a series of vignettes supporting the Pathfinder Lost Omens line of campaign setting products.5
The Shroud of Four Silences
Beginning on November 4, 2020, Paizo re-introduced Pathfinder Tales online fiction with the first serialized entry of The Shroud of Four Silences, a tie-in to the Second Edition Beginner Box by Liane Merciel. While the first part was published to the Paizo Blog, the remaining installments were to be published via Paizo account emails.6
In addition to the novels and web fiction, both commissioned exclusively for release under the Pathfinder Tales brand, the serialized Pathfinder's Journal fiction in the pages of Pathfinder Adventure Path have also been brought under the unified umbrella of official Pathfinder fiction. In May 2011, the first three Pathfinder's Journals were compiled and released as ePubs in the same format as the compiled web fiction short stories.7 The Pathfinder's Journal feature ran in Pathfinder Adventure Path from its inaugural volume, Burnt Offerings through the end of the Strange Aeons Adventure Path, comprising 17 distinct series from August 2007 to January 2017.8
- Paizo Staff. (February 24, 2015). Tor Books to Publish Pathfinder Novels Based on Paizo's Hit Tabletop Gaming Line, Paizo News.
- James L. Sutter. (October 14, 2015). Audible and Kindle!, Paizo Blog.
- James L. Sutter. (July 22, 2015). A Farewell to Web Fiction, Paizo Blog.
- Mark Moreland and James L. Sutter. (March 7, 2019). Iconic Encounter: Red Snow, Paizo Blog.
- Jason Bulmahn. (May 30, 2019). The Hopeful, Paizo Blog.
- Mark Moreland. (November 4, 2020). Pathfinder Tales: The Shroud of Four Silences, Paizo Blog.
- James L. Sutter. (May 18, 2011). New Books and ePubs!, Paizo Blog.
- James L. Sutter. (August 25, 2016). The Last Pathfinder's Journal, Paizo Blog.